Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Forgotten

The Forgotten

Greetings to one and all. I hope that this letter finds you in good health, with your spirits lifted high in all aspects of life. During this special season we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Matthew 2:11 - And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 1:18-25- Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 

Luke 2:7 - And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 What greater cause is there to celebrate? Jesus is the reason! Of course, we take this time to express to our loved ones how much they mean to us through the giving of gifts and gathering together. Often these gatherings are held at the homes of loved ones or friends over a hot meal and drinks.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him wouldn't perish, but would have eternal life.

It is during this most coveted time of the year when many are  alone and depressed. The correct term for it is called social isolation. It is prevalent during the holidays. As we prepare to gather together with our loved ones and friends it is easy to forget that so many have no one to celebrate with, and no where to go. Many families have to celebrate without their loved ones whom are overseas in the military. For the people who spend a good
portion of the year alone already, the feeling of sorrow must be overwhelming as everyone else spends time with their loved ones.

Psalm 142:4  I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

Friends, I encourage you to think about who you can give to beyond your usual sphere of influence. Sadly, unless those like you and I consider the less fortunate, they may end up with nothing at all this Christmas season. Think of those who would be tremendously blessed by your giving. A lot of families simply don't have the money to purchase gifts for their loved ones. If it were not for charities like toys for tots or Salvation Army, some children would not receive gifts. I thank God for those willing to donate, for the workers willing to help gather and present those donations. 

Remember that a gift to someone is about the heart and not necessarily the material value or size of the present. There are many ways to give beyond money or financial donations. A simple hot meal could make a world of difference in a person's life. To have one less meal to worry about when finding food is a big struggle will certainly provide joy during this season. Acts of kindness are not defined by the rules society has established
but rather by the size of one's heart. 

Acts 20:35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Also, while I do not condemn those who endure with the tradition of "Santa clause," it is important that we remember to give thanks to the true giver of all good gifts, our Lord. While the idea of a round, jolly man with a white beard and red suit sliding the down the chimney to drop off piles of gifts may seem cute and alluring, it is a big detractor from Christ who is the real reason for our celebratory exchanges. By simply rearranging the letters it is easy to spell Satan. Once again I don't condemn those who want to have fun with the idea of Santa, but it should never take precedent in our lives.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

God loves us and blesses us with gifts each day. He doesn't deserve to have his praise and admiration passed along to some imaginary figure who doesn't give ANY gifts at all. I thank God for all that he has done to protect and provide for me, my loved ones throughout this year. It truly is a blessing to be here. I don't have a long list of things I want this year. In fact, if I received nothing extra at all I will be just as joyous. I have my loved ones, my health and strength, a job, and a roof over my head. I am not out in the cold or begging for a bite to eat. 

What more do I really need? Anything beyond these things are indeed a gift from the Lord. He has been good to me. I pray that He will use me to be a blessing for someone else who doesn't have as much as I do. Will you allow the Lord to use you to bless someone else? You will only receive honor and favor from the Lord by allowing Him to use you. Remember that it is better to give than to receive. Think of the warmth you will feel knowing that despite your other obligations and responsibilities that you sacrificed to help someone in need.

Proverbs 3:27  Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.

Proverbs 28:27  He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.

James 2:15-16  If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?

I want to thank each of you who reads this blog and receives the messages in your hearts. God is with you no matter where you are. I pray that each of you has a blessed and wonderful Christmas this year. Remember to celebrate the true reason for the season; Jesus.  Lets close out this year on a good note so that we can enter 2015 refreshed for the journey ahead! As always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Faith vs Fear


What exactly is faith? 
According to Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 
Faith is not about what you see, but rather what is unseen. Oh, how easy it is for the natural eyes to be fooled. From a distance anything may appear one way while up-close entirely different.
Have you ever heard the expression, "everything that glitters isn't gold?" This is a perfect example of hour our eye sight can lead us wrong. We see something sparkling in the distance being hit by the rays of the sun, making it appear as a bright diamond or precious stone. Then, as soon as we get close we discover it was nothing more than a shard of glass or a worthless piece of metal. 

Magicians use optical illusions to fool audiences right before their very eyes. It doesn't just happen to those at a distance in the crowd but even those willing participants who are up close to the magician. So in that case it doesn't make much sense to rely solely on what we see, does it?

Faith is the total opposite. Instead of being in control it is about the ability to let go and not be in control. Faith is not about trusting in our own ability. Faith is about relying entirely, %100 on the Lord. What would be the purpose of faith if the things we hoped for could be grasped so easily? 

I challenge you to "Go Blind One Day!" Faith is about lack of eye sight; total blindness. Needless to say, if you can see the outcome then you are probably not walking by faith. If you have it all figured out there isn't much faith involved. Trusting in Jesus and leaning on Him is the best way to exercise or practice faith. I will push the envelope a bit further and say that faith is a way of life, not just an idea. Live out your faith, not your religion. Let go of every hindrance, especially fear. 

There is a strong contrast and dynamic between faith and fear. Let's take a look at a powerful example of how faith can conquer fear when allowed. Remember the story of Peter and his brave steps out of the boat and into the water as he approached Jesus? That is what I can ultimate faith!

 Matthew 14:22-33

 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea,[a] tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous,[b] he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and[c] worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”

Let us digest this for a moment. I know you are thinking that he failed because he ultimately sank. Yes, it is true that Peter lost faith towards the end of his approach. However, the most important part of this passage is the fact that Peter was willing to take a "leap" of faith and step out of the boat. The majority of us will always remain in the safety of the boat, unwilling and afraid to step out of the boat. Peter's faith was tremendous. In fact I view his brief walk on the water as an incredible success, not a failure. 

We can examine several key components of this event to highlight the incredible faith that was involved in these few short moments. It was night time in the middle of the sea (likely very deep water), with high waves generated from excessive winds! On top of that Jesus appeared as if He were a ghost! Can you imagine being in the middle of the ocean at night as ghostly figure approaches your vessel, and then that figure telling you to come out of the safety of your boat? It is utterly unimaginable. Even the roughest, toughest of people would likely tremble with total fear and helplessness.

Still, Peter allowed his faith to conquer his fear. He approached his Lord because he believed. He believed! Jesus had appeared as a ghost, yet Peter believed in his heart that it really was Jesus. Faith is greater than fear because faith conquers fear!

Just as we see in the passage from Matthew 14 faith is indeed greater than fear. God's word tells us that faith requires action and that without it we are not able to please Him.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (KJV)

James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)

Our world is broken to say the least. Each day we face unprecedented challenges which range from physical dangers, attacks on our health and wellness, financial obstacles, cultural stigmas, stereotypes, oppression from wicked rulers, pressures from society and so much more. Our faith is what allows us to rise above these disasters that surround us at all times. Faith separates us from the world and allows us to do the impossible!

Luke 17:6  He replied, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you. (NIV)

Matthew 17:20 He replied, "Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (NIV)

 With faith there is nothing out of our reach because once again we are placing our trust in the Living God, not our own abilities. There is nothing too difficult for God! As we place our faith on the line and depend on God to see us through we are guaranteed to win! He can't lose!  

Matthew 19:26  Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (NIV)

Take the leap of faith today and remember to speak life daily! The word of God is our weapon and guide. What you say has a great deal to with the actual outcome. In the book of Genesis the Lord spoke things into existence. He used His voice; the power of spoken word. 

Genesis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (NIV)

The spirit world, which is far more vast than the visible world, is always paying attention. Whether we speak good things or bad things it is taken into account and an outcome occurs. Speak life and exercise your faith. Watch as your life changes in unexpected and incredible ways! You may appear to be foolish in the eyes of the world for exercising your faith but don't worry about what they think. Faith is greater than fear.

As Always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

 The Signs 

It is with great certainty that I say the end is near. We are indeed living in the final days of human history. It is an amazing time to be alive, an exciting time. Never before has man witnessed the awe-inspiring events happening in the modern world. Yet, there is a much to be desired. Available to us is all the technology, entertainment, pleasures and material things that one could wish for. Even with that being the case, why does there seem to be a general air of discontent, strife, or unhappiness? It is because much darkness abounds in these last days.

Jesus was very precise when speaking of the signs that would signal His return. We not only have the words of Jesus, but many signs to validate what is true. After all anyone can say anything right? Without evidence few are sure to believe. What's worse is that some wouldn't believe even if the evidence fell into their laps. The time for procrastination is over. Things are so serious at this point that Jesus' return is immanent. We not only need to ready ourselves but also spread the truth to others before it is too late. It is time right now. Let's take a look at some solid proof that we are in the last days and on the cusp of Christ's return.

Matthew 24:6-7 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.

That one scripture is packed with a ton of verifiable events happening right now in our world. I will present some basic facts for you representing current world events. You can do more in depth research if you chose. The information is all readily available from a wide range of sources.

Nation Against Nation
Since the bloody Egyptian revolution began in 2011 between 3,000-8,000 have died. This figure continues to climb. The exact figure of prisoners/detainees in not known.
Since the bloody civil war in Syria began in early 2011 the death toll is between 115,000-125,000. The toll continues to rise.
The United States has been exposed for worldwide spying on allies and enemies alike. This has only further incited tensions between the U.S. and China. In retaliation China recently moved a warship into U.S. waters in Hawaii. 
Sudan has been in state of civil war since 1983 and millions have died. Millions have also been displaced. However, just to illustrate that this is another current are some numbers. In Darfur, since the year 2003, roughly 50,000-80,000 have been killed in "ethnic cleansing (aka genocide) and between 1-2 million displaced.
The conflict in Turkey, perpetuated by it's PPK (Kurdistan Worker's Party) has left as many as 870 dead since 2011.
American troops are set to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. The government there is in no condition to resume responsibility for its own security, as it is still plagued with corruption and factionalism. Though it is not for America to decide their fate, we are sure to hear more about this conflict in the coming days.

Since 2004 the tensions between the United States in Pakistan has boiled over. There have been as many as 339 drone attacks where over 400 civilians have died. 
I could go on and on with the Nation against Nation point but I have no desire. I'm getting disturbed just thinking about it. Besides, I am sure you can see that there is no shortage of conflicts in today's world just as Jesus said there would be before His return.

Roughly 800 million people suffer from malnutrition and hunger each year. A whopping 1.5 million children die each year from starvation (20,864 each day). That breaks my heart. The news would rather keep you distracted with celebrity garbage than to report on things like this! I just read an article 2 days ago about the poor in Haiti and how they eat mud cookies each day to stay alive. They literally mix oil with the mud and bake it into a "cookie." This is while billionaire aristocrats could easily write 1 check and resolve all of the world hunger!
In the year 2012 there were an astonishing 16,667 earthquakes worldwide which resulted in 768 deaths. In that same year there were 3836 in the United States alone!

Matthew 24:9 Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.

Christians Persecuted
It is no secret that the world has launched an all out war on Christians and just about anything that has to do with God or Jesus! How many of you can remember a few years back when they banned stores from saying "Merry Christmas" and forced them to resort to saying "Happy Holidays?" How many can remember when prayer was taken out of schools? Now the sacred and holy institution of marriage has succumbed to the filth of the world. The world has perverted yet another of God's special covenants in order to twist and poison the truth! Oh, and I dare a Christian to proclaim that gay marriage is ungodly! You'll be crucified so quick you won't even know what happened. In fact, it is becoming more and more unacceptable for Christians to take a stand against anything that is indecent/contrary to God's word. I recently read an article where the united states army was specifically told to target Christians as a hate group and threat to national security. Now Christians are actually being labeled as terrorists! At every turn we are unwelcome, hated and killed. Jesus declared that it would be this way in the days near His return.

Matthew 24:11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
No love
Jesus pretty much summed up the whole of our modern existence with that ONE verse. It is so plainly evident that people just don't care for one another. Hearts have waxed cold and there is no love. When you can look on YouTube and see videos of a person getting hit by a vehicle, and people simply walk by the person laying there without so much as even a know we are very close to the end. What happened to the you lean on me and I lean on you thing? Those days are long gone. The government has intentionally cut off much needed supplies to families (food shortages) inciting increased fears of riots/martial law in the near future. What kind of wicked government, which has built it's empire off the blood and sweat of the people, would then turn around and destroy those same people? You got it! Yours truly, the United States government. They (FEMA) already have millions of black coffins at a site in Georgia for some upcoming disaster event. What are we not being told? Why is the department of homeland security buying billions of rounds of hollow-point ammunition? Why is the military making preparations to seize the weapons of civilians and detain the American people? 
 Every time you turn around you see stories about parents killing their children through all kinds of evil torture, and children committing unspeakable, murderous acts against their own parents. Kids are hardly able to go to school without fear of an armed maniac coming in to shoot them. Crime seems to be rising at an alarming rate according to statistics and it just seems that people are struggling more and more with making good choices. Television has become completely filled with corruption and darkness. Everything is demonic, satanic or degrading. There are no more morals. Remember you could almost never see nudity or hear cursing on TV shows? Not anymore. They don't even bother to block it out or sensor. Never before in history has evil run so rampant as today. The lack of love and constant betrayal of people by one another is testament to the fact that we are in the final days. 

The end is at hand brothers and sisters. Time is so short. Pretty soon finding work, having money, entertainment, pointless celebrity gossip and technology will be the last thing on people's minds. Soon the only thing people will care about is their own survival! When the riots begin, we will have no choice but to trust in the Lord. Please pray for me during these perilous times and I will cover you in prayer as well. 

Matthew 24:36-44 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had know what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."

As Always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Will my life get better?

When things are not going as we want them to, this is a question we can't help but ponder. Will things ever get better? Is there any hope? As humans, self preservation is one of our most basic instincts, especially in a time of turmoil. I believe it is safe to say that the days in which we live are overwhelmingly complex. There are scores of unwarranted shootings and killings, confusion over what would seem to be basic common sense moral issues, turbulent financial markets and joblessness, global and civil unrest, and disaster at every turn. People are in a place of desperation and it is easy to see why. My friend, I am only human and must confess that I too share these feelings of uneasiness. However, I need only turn to the word of the living God for hope and answers.

So again I ask, will my life get better? Have you ever wondered when God will show up? So have I! The answer is; right on time. His timing is perfect, and rarely does his timing align with ours. Let us take a look at what God's word says about hope, safety and deliverance. 

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1 (Nkjv)

We can be assured that in times of trouble that God is absolutely with us, strengthening us and providing a safe place for us, even in the midst of certain danger. When my heart is overwhelmed and I know I am in over my head, I turn to the Lord in prayer. Those who are burdened and weary can find rest in the Lord. We may feel alone at times, stranded in middle of a mess with no way out. Still, we are never alone because God is always with us. We don't have to be afraid. 

The LORD said, "Fear not, for I am with you ; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous hand." -Isaiah 41:10

The angel of the LORD encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. -Psalm 34:7

As for me, I will call upon God, and the LORD shall save me. -Psalm 55:16

God is loving and merciful, but He is also just. If anything stands between you and the Lord, first repent and ask to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, that nothing would hinder your cries from being heard. God will forgive us if we repent and ask forgiveness. In the same light, we should forgive those who wrong us and not harbor bitterness in our hearts. We would not want God to hold a grudge against us for our wrongs. When you have settled those things that stand in between you and the Lord, pray earnestly for relief from your troubles. He will deliver you, though I say again that it will be in His own timing. 

And not only in that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance  and perseverance character; and character, hope. -Romans 5:3-4

It is tempting to give up when we don't get our answer from God right away. Sometimes we may feel that He has forgotten us, or that He hasn't listened to our prayers. He has heard our cries and in time His mighty hand will move on our behalf. God may allow us to go through seasons of challenge to strengthen our faith, build our patience, and develop our testimony so that when we are delivered we can provide hope to those going through the same thing. 

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. -Isaiah 40:31

My friend, I am not here to tell you  that everything will be lovely all the time. I wish I could promise that we would never face tribulations, trials or pain. I would love to tell you that we will always get our answers immediately, that we will never have to be patient, or that answers will always be what we want them to be. If I told you those things, I would surely be lying to you. Our walk of faith as Christians, servants of the Lord, followers and disciples of Jesus is not for the faint of heart. We are not promised easy lives. On the contrary we will definitely face attacks, dangers, persecutions, heartbreak and ridicule. Thankfully, our God will never leave us nor forsake us!

Our God is greater than the greatest mountains and obstacles we face. He is greater than our worst enemy and His wisdom far exceeds that of the people who try to belittle us. With God on our side who can stand against us? No one! So, I don't promise that this road will be easy, but if we endure...our rewards will be unimaginably great. We shall have victory in Christ!

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. -John 16:33

As always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Who is Jesus?


When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” Matthew 16:13

Jesus asked this question for a very important reason. Jesus was not uncertain of His identity or His purpose. In fact Jesus was before anything else came to be. He wanted to make certain that those following Him knew His true identity. Many rumors were rampant during the time of Christ’s earthly ministry, and much confusion was the result.
Mark 13: 5 And Jesus, answering them, began to say: “Take heed that no one deceives you. “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,” and will deceive many.

Make no mistake; Jesus wants you to know Him. He doesn't want you confused about who He is, and why a relationship with Him is critical.  In response to Jesus’ question;

Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Matthew 16:16

Assurance of who Jesus is does not come as a result of scholarly readings or theology classes at an accredited university. In order to know Jesus, there has to be a personal relationship. There must be a connection that transcends head knowledge and dives into
the heart.
Matthew 15:8 “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
 I would pose the question; how can we get to know anyone without investing time with them on a consistent, personal basis? Don’t allow anyone else to define Jesus for you. Don’t allow the television or Sunday service to define Jesus for you. Get to know Him for yourself. Dive into the word of God and pray.

Many know Jesus as their savior, but few know Him as Lord. A great emphasis has been placed on Jesus as savior. This is understandable in relation to human nature, as it is a natural desire to want to be rescued. It is completely human to want to feel secure and safe. However, Jesus makes it very clear that in order to follow Him, one must totally surrender their life. This means that salvation alone is not the point. It is a selfish standpoint that proclaims, “Rescue me, save me, but I don’t have to give anything in return!” 
Looking at things in that manner makes it about us, when it should be about Christ. Living a life totally surrendered in Christ is not about what you can get from Him, but rather what you’re willing to give for Him.
Matthew 16:24 “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
Matthew 19:20-21 The young man said to him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

This is where many of us miss the point. Salvation is easy, comfortable, and requires little. A life of surrender is difficult, demanding, full of persecution, and trials all for His glory. It is easy to see why most would rather have Jesus as savior, and not as Lord.

Romans 10:9 If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Lordship implies ownership and complete rule. This is not what you will hear at your typical Sunday morning service. It is not what you want to hear, but what you need to hear.
You are probably shocked and maybe a bit confused because this is not what you have been taught. When we really dive into the word of God for ourselves instead of sitting down and hearing someone else share with us their idea of the bible, we can really have a shot at the powerful and trans-formative truth that is God’s word.
Have you ever wondered why the world is so harsh towards Christians? Have you ever heard some one saying, “well so and so said they are a Christian, but they do things that a Christian shouldn't do.” This is because it so much easier to hear the word than to actually do. Jesus warned us about that. Likely, these are people who have “accepted” Christ as their Savior but have never made Him their Lord.Perhaps they were not actually saved but thought that they were. Maybe this is why some Christians are seen as hypocrites and not to be trusted. Much of our plight as Christians is due to bad teaching, though we are responsible for the good or bad decisions we make. It reflects back on our Lord because until He returns, the world sees Jesus through His followers on earth. If we represent Him in a way that is false, then we cant expect the world to take Christianity seriously. Instead, if we live out and do the word daily, Christ will be so visible that the world will not even see us. Salvation is also not about acceptance, but rather a declaration as shown in Romans 10:9. So they are not living a life of surrender at all. Salvation should be the beginning, not the end; the result, not the goal.

Look into your own heart and ask yourself do you really know who Jesus is? Is he simply a great moral character from fable, some man who did good deeds long ago, a savior who helped you avoid a fiery hell, or is He alive, present and active in your life each day as your Lord? Jesus may have died, but He rose again and is alive today! We serve the living God!

As Always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Friday, November 16, 2012


It has been a long while since I have ventured to write though there has been no shortage of topics to discuss. More than any other subject, the Lord has placed on my heart to speak about the power of prayer.
Prayer is very powerful. Prayer is life-changing and most of all prayer is real. If  you don't pray hopefully you will learn how after reading this. If you already pray, I hope that this will strengthen your desire to grow in your walk with the Lord through prayer. You will also understand how prayer can change your life for the better and strengthen your bond with God.

What is prayer? Prayer is simply the act of communicating with God. It really is that simple. You can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything. Prayer exposes our inner heart. Prayer is all about what is hidden beneath the surface. You may have something bothering you to the point you feel that it is eating away at you. When others ask how you are doing you make no mention of what is truly troubling you. Then you find your quiet place and let it all out before God. Though you can pray anywhere, it is best if you can find a private, quite place to pour out your heart to the Lord.
When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
 Prayer reveals to God the things that are hidden from others. It also may reveal to you things about yourself that you didn't know.
"Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know," says the Lord. Jeremiah 33:3
Why should you pray? Ultimately there are many reasons to pray, and people pray for all different reasons. Sometimes we pray because we have a need or have family in need. Still, we may pray when we are heavily burdened by many troubles. Other times we pray because we are afraid, worried, or alone. I pray for all of these reasons, but the main reason I pray is to build my relationship with Christ. I desire to grow closer to Him each day.
God's word shares insight on prayer during a time of trouble.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. Psalm 91:15
The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:13-16
  Prayer is the answer to the stresses that have burdened you. Matthew chapter 6 outlines the model prayer. It is not only a great example of how to pray, but also a prayer that even seasoned Christians pray. Jesus used the model prayer as an example of how to pray. He also prayed to the Father very often. When you pray and receive the answer to your prayers it will build your faith tremendously. I could tell you many testimonies about how prayer changed my life, but I would need weeks on end for them all. God the father takes pleasure in hearing and answering your prayers. Remember to always pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ. We need the covering of our fellow saints. As always, Truth is Freedom, knowledge is power!

Monday, May 14, 2012

True or False

1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came to Jesus and tested him by asking him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He replied, "When evening comes, you say, 'It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,' 3 and in the morning, 'Today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. Matthew 16:1-5

As I sat and viewed a powerful testimony about Christians living in the final days, a shocking revelation was revealed to me. During that revelation, I came to understand how selfish I have been throughout my life, and even during my Christian walk. God broke down the wall of pride that I had constructed over the years, and pulled down the veil of blindness that covered my eyes. God exposed me for what I was, a broken down individual hoping to get by with just enough to edge my way into heaven. Wrong! There is no way to sneak into heaven. There is no way to half-way serve God. When you live for Christ it is all or nothing.
If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. Matthew 16:24

My Lord began to reveal to me that If I did not live my life as he commanded that none of my works would mean anything. The works I had done would be worthless and my life a waste on the day of judgement. This scared me greatly. God showed me that though my intentions have been good, my motives were not pure. Immediately, I fell on my face to repent to God for my actions. I repented for everything I had done that was outside the will of God, but most importantly I repented for hurting my heavenly Father. I repented for selfishly asking God to take me from this life so that I might be with Him, when I still had much work to do and lives to impact. After the rebuke of the Holy Spirit, the shame left me and Jesus reassured me that through Him all things were possible. I prayed that He would give me the ability to overcome my shortcomings, live righteously, and that my life would not be in vain. 
God reminded me that we are beings of free will and that He could not force anything upon us. Though I had disappointed the Lord greatly and He had strongly chastised me, He again reminded me that It was not too late to do what was right.  He expects me to do right.
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child. Hebrews 12:6

God reminded me that I did not realize just how much I was caught up in this life, though I was certain that I had given up on this world. He showed me that I still had a great desire for material things, a yearning to fulfill my own purposes and agendas, and lived a double life. This was deeply unsettling to my spirit and very frightening. Still, I am glad that God has dealt with me on this matter while I am still in this life, rather than casting me into hell. He made it clear to me that all those who claimed to be Christians would not enter into his Kingdom.
 Enter through the narrow gate, For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:7-8
 I was also afraid that I too would not enter into God's kingdom if I did not change.
We serve and worship the Lord with our actions, not with our words. Real worship comes from within your heart Anyone can profess anything but that does not make it true. It does not mean that person truly stands behind the assertion either. On multiple occasions Jesus reinforces the importance of being doers of the word and not hearers only. Ultimately, this is the only true way to discern real Christians from the false ones. 
Those who actually do God's word and obey his laws are the only ones who will inherit his kingdom. Do not be fooled by Satan and his new age philosophy of "live how ever you want because you are god." Your enemy wants you to believe that you do not have to be held accountable for your lifestyle because you have said a prayer of salvation since Jesus died for you. Wrong again! God clearly warns us that to continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the gospel is refute the powerful purpose of salvation. Sadly this is the false doctrine that has been spread through many of today's churches. It is a doctrine that has created a false sense of security and stirred up the wrath of God who shall return with a vengeance. We as followers of God are completely accountable for our lives, and even more so than non-believers because we have been made aware. We are comfortable living in any manner and thinking that this is OK with God.
We must all examine ourselves to be certain that we are living as true followers of Christ. Could you imagine the horror of standing before God as He says, "depart from me I never knew you!" 
Many will say to Me on
that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in
Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?'
And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME,
It would have to be the most horrible thing imaginable. As believers we should rest assured in our salvation, though that does not mean becoming Luke-warm as stated in the book of Revelations. If you know that you have been living half way as a Christian, there is still time to make things right with God. First, examine yourself and your motives pertaining to your walk. Then go before the throne of God humbly and repent if you have lived a life that would dishonor God. He is just to forgive you if you are sincere. When you repent God will wipe the slate clean and you can start over, but you have to live as a true Christian to the best of your ability each day. 
 Christianity is not a lifestyle, it is actually a state of being. The holy spirit lives with you and you should always reflect Christ. A lifestyle can change and be altered but a state of being is constant. Just as you are "alive" right now, that is a state of being. As a Christian you should be a living, breathing, reflection of Christ, meaning that you do not turn this off and on at will. If you act one way around certain people, and totally different around others, then you have not fully made Christianity your state of being. We have all been guilty of this at some point or another. The point is to move beyond that old false way of living. When we stand before God we want to be able to approach His throne without spot or blemish. Most reading this message have accepted the gift of salvation, but have not learned to exist as a true Christian should. The good news is that God intended this message for you. You still have the time to make things right and become a doer of God's word and not just remain as a hearer. 
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25
Take up your cross daily and walk with Jesus. One thing that may help is to ask yourself, if Jesus was right here in the room with me, would I do this certain action? If the answer is no, then turn away from whatever that behavior is that is causing you to sin. Live your life as if Jesus is physically right beside you every where you go. He lives within us, but sometimes we find it easier to allow ourselves to make poor decisions because we do not physically see Him all the time. Just like you would not do certain things if a police officer were with you, who could arrest you and take away your freedom, you should also honor the Lord and live righteously. The best way to honor God is to obey His word because it shows that you truly love and follow Him. 
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is lie it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40
I don't know about you but I want to enter God's kingdom and dwell with Him for eternity. I surely do not want Him to turn me away on that day stating that He never knew me. I do not want Him to disapprove of my works either! That would be terrible. It is a bad feeling to let God down after He has done so much for me. Be sure you are living truly as a Christian, and not a Luke-warm one.
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write : The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this : 15 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot ; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 'So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Revelation 3:14-17
 I am making a commitment to God to do just that. Saints, let us lift up one another in prayer that we may be able to stand in the day of judgement and be accepted into God's kingdom. Will your works be found out as true or false?
 As always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stand Your Ground

As a Christian in modern society, you face a daunting number of obstacles, distractions, and opposition like never before. It is imperative that you, "stand your ground." The enemy wants nothing more than to get you to compromise and become slack concerning your walk with Christ. Think about that for a moment. The easiest way for your enemy (the devil) to attack you is to catch you when your guard is down. When your guard is down, you are exposed, weak, and vulnerable. My friend, I encourage you to stand your ground always and resist the urge to compromise.

How does the enemy get us to compromise?
He will exploit your weaknesses and place temptation in front of you so that you might open the door. Once the door is opened and sin enters in, it will be difficult to shake the stronghold. Again, I urge you to resist, and stand your ground! Temptation rarely comes in a broken-down, unappealing package. Instead it will come in the form of something beautiful, desirable, enticing. God tells us in His word that if we resist the devil he will flee from us.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
The world belongs to Satan, and has ever since Adam and Eve passed over their ruling dominion to him after sinning in the garden. The world also wants you to compromise in your walk with Christ. Resist the desire to fit in with others around you by placing your Christian values on the back burner. I understand that this is not always an easy thing to do. Remember that your approval and worth comes from God, not men. God will exalt you for your good works in due time, but the world would love nothing more than to see you living in sin. Any time you have to bend your values to fit in, something is definitely wrong. 
 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 1 Thessalonians 2:4
 When adversities come your way and you want to give up, stand your ground. There is a blessing waiting for you. If you are facing a difficult challenge or crisis situation right now, you may have many thoughts about giving up. You may get discouraged and start to question your faith. Trust me, there was a point when I was there. Even though it was tough, I continued to stand my ground and God brought me victory through all of my trials. I am now more blessed as a result of going through my fiery trials because it strengthened my faith, increased my love for the Lord, and provided me with solid testimonies to share with others. If you compromise and give up when times get tough, how will you reach the place of maturity and advancement God is ultimately bringing you to? Many times our trials are a result of our own sin, but God uses these times to test our hearts and our faith. Stand your ground! 
 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. John 16:33
 Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all. Psalm 34:19 KJV

 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12 KJV

Others may not understand when you stand your ground and remain faithful to God. It might mean that you're making a choice which will cause you to be unpopular, or abandoned by the "in crowd." Don't worry, because any friend that causes you to dishonor the Lord, your family, your church, or yourself, is not a true friend at all. These are not the kinds of friends you need. You need friends who will encourage you to do what is right, to stand strong in trials and tribulations, and pray with you when you feel like giving in to temptation.
 Do not be unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common? What fellowship has light with darkness?" 2 Corinthians 6:14
Remember to meditate on God's word and what is good. Avoid fellowship with those who will cause you to stumble for sake of fitting in. Also avoid conversations that tear down rather than build others up. Remember to resist temptation and your enemy will flee from you. Are there people or things in your life that are causing you to forsake your Christian values? You don't need them so get rid of them! Also remember that God rewards the faithful abundantly when they do not compromise to be like the world. You can do it, and the bible tells you so!
 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
As always, Truth is Freedom, Knowledge is Power!